Dries Mertens is likely to miss more of the season with his ankle injury not yet resolved.
Napoli’s talented attacking-midfielder has been unavailable for the side for more than a month. His absence has been deeply felt, forcing Gattuso to improvise a solution.
It was hoped that Mertens, one of Gli Azzuri’s best performers in recent season, would return to action in January. However, La Reppublica reports that the player continues to suffer from an injury to his ankle.
Distortion of the ankle is the diagnosis that kept the player away from the field starting with December.
Mertens will be out for at least one week, while the issues continue to be investigated by medical professionals. This is the most amount of time that Mertens has been sidelined since his thigh muscle rupture back in December 2015.
The Belgian is one of Napoli’s most famous players. He joined the club in 2013 for €9.5 million and was, initially, played in a midfielder role. The sale of Gonzalo Higuain, forced Mertens to be played in a more advanced position. This worked brilliantly and in 2017, he won the Capocannoniere, an award presented to Serie A’s top scorer in a single season.
This season, Mertens has played 12 Serie A matches for Napoli, scoring four goals. His involvement could weigh heavily on the club ‘s chances to win silverware this season.